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A Fascination with Fauna

Thursday 19 March to Tuesday 14 April

Artist Emerson Mayes is fascinated by the wildlife found in the North York Moors and beyond. His 'fauna' work reveals his skill as a printmaker.

Emerson Mayes

Emerson Mayes is a Yorkshire-born landscape painter who enjoys a growing reputation for a fresh, honest and uncontrived approach to his work.

With his roots firmly in the British landscape tradition, Emerson's work reflects his passion for this vast and complex subject. Although he strives to achieve a direct response, he is never tied down by the topographical elements in the landscape.

He says “it’s the emotional reaction and sense of place that's most important in a finished piece, not whether a tree is in exactly the right place”. 

Whenever possible, Emerson works outside, directly from the landscape, and he has developed a deep understanding and knowledge of the area where he paints.

He received the ‘Young Artist of the Year’ award in Leeds in 1995 – the first of a number of major awards he has subsequently received. Emerson's work can be found in many public, private and corporate collections worldwide, including the House of Lords and The National Trust.

The ‘Fauna’ work

At the start of 2010, Emerson decided not to paint during the calendar year and to concentrate instead on his first love, that of drawing. He also took this process a step further by honing his skills as a printmaker. 

To make it a clean break from painting, Emerson embraced the challenge of a completely new subject – the wildlife that has surrounded him in the landscape for all these years. His aim has been to produce work that displays the life and impact of the wildlife depicted, while retaining an element of artistry that elevates the work above mere representation.